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15 Strategies how to attract passive candidates

Companies have realised that they need to promote their jobs the same way as they market their services and products, if they want to keep their competitive edge.  There are different strategies that a company can apply in order to attract passive candidates, those employees who are working but don’t necessarily plan to change their jobs. 

1) Creating a “recruiting culture” within the company. Every team member in a company, regardless of their position, should be motivated to fill internal job positions. Implementing a referral scheme in which employees receive rewards when they find successful hires would be effective.  

2) A company should watch out for talent before a job opportunity might arise.  Building good relationships in advance would make it easier to persuade a passive candidate to consider a new challenge at a later stage. 

3) Reading other peoples’ blogs. This will give you the opportunity to have an insight into the person’s personality and competence; it also reflects the fact to what extent the person was able to build his reputation. 

4) Create your own blog and turn yourself into a source of information that people want to turn to and ask questions. 

5) Follow, like and connect with passive candidates. If a candidate knows that he is valuable in the job market it can give his confidence and ego a tremendous boost. 

6) If you ask for referrals don’t ask “Do you know someone who is looking for a job?” instead ask “Do you know someone with xyz skills?” 

7) Whenever you come across an interesting person which you think would be a great candidate in the future, take a note and keep record. You can also think of other people you have worked with in the past. What were their names? What are they doing now? Find out whether they are happy in their workplace. Research on social media and find out. 

8) Listen to what really motivates employees. Money is not the only motivator but maybe working at an office which is closer to home or being offered training opportunities would make a candidate think whether a job change would be worthwhile.  

9) Organise informal events that can be beneficial for both parties (the recruiting company and the passive candidate) in which they can network or have some coffee. Build relationships with them without putting too much pressure on them and see where it leads. 

10) Don’t promote yourself as a recruiter but as an expert in a certain sector. Employees prefer to engage with a specialist in a particular area rather than dealing with a recruiter. Once you established a relationship don’t try to treat  and turn the potential hire into a jobseeker. 

11) Ask your employees who the best people are they know. Check their credentials on Linkedin, get in touch, take them out for lunch and make proposals if they seem to be suitable for certain positions. 

12) Connect on social media. Find out who follows your company, who makes contributions, who updates their profile, who shares and retweets your content, who tries to get more online exposure etc. Interact with great candidates, let them know that they are on your radar. Once you get some replies from them, they might take your offer seriously.

13) Organise an online community in which passive candidates don’t have to disclose in public that they want to keep their options open. Make them participate in industry-specific online discussions and see who contributes, how they contribute etc. Take note of it and try to get in touch with them. 

14) If you hear about a company’s layoffs or downturn approach quickly those who might soon face unemployment and offer them a more secure job. 

15) Every time you come across some candidates’ references consider also those as  potential hires for the future.  

Bear in mind that in order to convince a passive candidate to change position you would have to offer something substantial that the current company is not able to offer. 


About Karin Schroeck-Singh
Karin is a career blogger at SuedtirolCareer.com
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